Town hall to tackle teacher recruitment

Jefferson City area residents can learn more about recently presented recommendations to address teacher recruitment and retention issues tonight.

The Missouri Teacher Recruitment and Retention Blue Ribbon Commission had met for months to discuss and finalize recommendations to take to the State Board of Education. Its priorities, finalized in September and endorsed by the State Board of Education in October, include immediate priorities of:

• Increasing the starting teacher salary to at least $38,000,

• Funding the Career Ladder program, and

• Establishing grant funding for district Grow Your Own Programs, which are designed to recruit teachers from within the community.

Short- and long-term recommendations also included things like supporting teacher mental wellness, student tuition assistance, and salary supplements and bonuses for teachers in high-need positions, among others.

State Board of Education members, Blue Ribbon Commission members, and leadership from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be available at a public engagement meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. today at 204 Dix Road, according to a Jefferson City School District Facebook post.

The meeting is intended to "spread the word about teacher recruitment and retention challenges in our state," share the recommendations the Blue Ribbon commission developed, and "ask for buy-in from all Missourians to support efforts to address this crisis," according to the commission website.